Bravo pH study question

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fwdmotion
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Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/29/2013 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the probe inserted yesterday morning and am in the midst of a 48-hour pH study. I'm having what I think are some unusual readings and I'm wondering if anyone knows how to interpret them.

Yesterday I predictably registered low pH (acid reflux) levels after two meals. It started within about an hour after I ate and persisted for at least a couple of hours. Today I have had some "spikes" down into the acid range (usually due to belching which I can't seem to stop), but I have spent much of the day ABOVE a pH of 7.0 which is the normal cutoff (at least that's my understanding). The pH has gone as high as 9.2, has spent some time in the 8 range, and has spent much of the day in the 7.3-7.8 range. Even when the pH is in the 6 range (supposedly normal), I don't feel well. Right now it's at 7.1 and I swear I'm feeling heartburn. Last night when I went to bed, I was having such bad reflux I couldn't get the monitor out of the 2-3 range until I slept on my stomach with my head propped up higher than my body with two pillows. Then ever since I woke up, I've been on the 7+ end of the pH spectrum. Is this indicative of bile reflux?

The other weird thing - I had coffee this afternoon and the pH went UP. My pH hasn't gone below 7 and it's been almost an hour since I had that coffee. That is totally counter-intuitive to me. There was a very small amount of half-and-half in there, but certainly not enough to counteract the acidity of the coffee (I wouldn't think).

Anyone have any ideas what this means?

dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 3/29/2013 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi fwdmotion,
 
Welcome to Healing Well!  Glad you've joined us!  The only thing that comes to my mind is that you're getting bile reflux, which would explain the higher pH numbers.  I don't know if you'll be able to figure out this study, but it might provide you with a rough understanding of the pH ranges you're seeing.
 
Good luck with your test!
Best wishes,
Denise
 
 
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

fwdmotion
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/29/2013 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for that article link! That's very interesting. Seems consistent with what I experienced, with acid reflux being worse in the earlier part of the night and (possibly) bile reflux being worse later.

I experimented earlier today by having something fatty that would stimulate my gallbladder to produce bile to see what it would do to the pH. So I had a teaspoon of coconut butter. Within a minute, the pH went to 9.2. To me that was pretty convincing. I just think it's weird that yesterday my acid reflux was so much worse after eating and so far today I haven't seen those numbers. I guess when I have dinner I'll see if the acid reflux returns...

fwdmotion
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/29/2013 3:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry, one more question. I've noticed today I have (at times) excess saliva that is sometimes mucousy, sometimes foamy. Whenever I swallow, the pH reading becomes more ALKALINE. Again, this is counterintuitive since saliva is supposed to be acidic. Should I assume this is because I've got bile mixed in with my saliva? I'm having a minor freakout since I just read that alkaline saliva is a sign of acidosis. I don't think I have the symptoms of acidosis, but I just think this is a weird reading!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 3/29/2013 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi fwdmotion,
It's not at all uncommon for results to be inconsistent when having a pH test.  People are often frustrated, because they have a really good day when they want to have a really bad day, so the pH monitor can get a record of what they're experiencing when they suffer. 
 
When your esophagus is under attack with acid or bile, your body makes extra saliva in an effort to protect it.  I don't think you need to worry about the change in PH...chances are the saliva is just mixing with whatever is coming up, be it acid, or bile.
 
Good luck with the rest of your test!  Let us know how it goes and what you find out!
Take care,
Denise
 
 
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

fwdmotion
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/29/2013 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Denise :-) Earlier today I felt pretty sure the saliva issue was exactly what you said, but of course it wouldn't be a day in my life if I didn't consider a catastrophic alternative ;-)

I'll report back once the doctor makes some sense of all these numbers for me!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 3/29/2013 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll look forward to hearing what your doc has to say.  Good luck! turn
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Jimw1961
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/30/2013 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
A neutral pH is 7.4. Lower than that is acid. Higher is base, or like baking soda. The lower numbers indicate you are having more acid in your stomach. This can be caused by what you eat or the position you are in. Laying down will increase the flow of acid into your esophagus. That is why we all have had, or going to have the fundoplication. I wouldn't worry too much about the numbers. That is for the Dr. to interpret.
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